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News article on Cherry Springs PA

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#1 George N

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 01:30 PM

Here ( web page ) is a July 31, 2013 article describing this IDA Gold Level dark sky park. It's the home of the Cherry Springs Star Party (June) and the Black Forest Star Party (usually September, but sometimes late August).

The sad part is that gas frack'ing is threatening the park's dark skys. The IDA will be reevaluating their "gold" award in light of this.

#2 Brett Carlson

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 06:24 AM

Thanks for Sharing! Looking forward to Black Forest.

#3 djpontone

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:24 AM

How about shielding the lights on the fracking towers?Dark skies ?

#4 George N

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:18 AM

How about shielding the lights on the fracking towers?Dark skies ?


As we've discussed in the Light Pollution area, the lights are directed up at the towers from the ground and are required by Fed and state safety regulations. There is always one or more people working up in the tower 24/7. The entire drilling pad area is brightly lit, and there are long convoys of trucks with head lights. I've seen 'um myself line up right outside Cherry Springs and then pull out at 2 AM. It takes 30 to 45 minutes for the convoy to clear the area.

The Park Ranger in charge of Cherry Springs (and also a major player in the International Dark-Sky Association) stated at the CSSP back in June that the major LP danger for Cherry Springs comes from the lights that are associated with the "industrial infrastructure" coming to rural PA from frack'ing. For example, just to the east of the park there is now a large equipment yard filled with many (30? 50? ) trucks and other stored equipment, and the yard is as well lit as any city parking lot. Add to that pumping stations, frack'ing fluid storage sites, etc, etc, all well lit, and you get more light pollution. Shielding would help (if it was done) but they are still adding many new lights in what was a completely wild forest area.

#5 George N

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:23 AM

Thanks for Sharing! Looking forward to Black Forest.


I always miss Black Forest 'cuz I spend September in the Adirondacks, where it's just as dark. I'm currently planning on spending my usual 3 to 5 nights in Cherry Springs in October. That's a nice time of the year, with leaves all brightly colored, mostly dry weather, winter constellations up high after midnight. However, it can get below freezing late at night, but that just adds a frosty coating to my Obsession 20. :smirk:

#6 Phillip Creed

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 12:31 PM

How close is the equipment yard and fracking sites to Cherry Springs?

Clear Skies,
Phil

#7 peleuba

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 03:39 PM

How close is the equipment yard and fracking sites to Cherry Springs?

Clear Skies,
Phil


I think what George was trying to say is that the equipment is sometimes parked at the old airport across Route 44 from the park. But its not always fracking equipment there. Over the last 15 years I've seen road paving/improvement equipment there. Basically if the state is doing a project anywhere in the vicinity, they will use the airport land across the street as a parking spot for the equipment.

There are a number of fracking sites within a 20 mile radius of the park.

#8 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 11:50 AM

The staging area that George mentioned may be the one off of Route 44, just a bit before the long downhill switchback and miles from the park. I believe that it's the source of one of the light domes that's visible from the park in the southeast.

Frack water trucks are sometimes parked where the airfield use to be. The spot that I'm referring to looks like a major industrial installation.

Dave Mitsky

#9 George N

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:53 AM

The staging area that George mentioned may be the one off of Route 44, just a bit before the long downhill switchback and miles from the park. I believe that it's the source of one of the light domes that's visible from the park in the southeast.

Frack water trucks are sometimes parked where the airfield use to be. The spot that I'm referring to looks like a major industrial installation.

Dave Mitsky


Dave's right. There is also a new lighted equipment park just to the east of Galeton on US 6.

The park director's concern is that this sort of facility will only be on the increase in Potter County as more pipe lines and compressor stations go in, and there is a need to re-frack the wells every few years. All of this will contribute to a general increase in sky glow. He believes that this is of more concern than the short-term issue with flaring and drill-tower lighting, or even the truck convoys going by the park.

BTW, the truck convoys park along the airport side of the road and stage to maybe 20 to 50 trucks, and then all start up and pull out around 2 AM or so. I've only seen it happen twice.

#10 peleuba

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:40 PM

BTW, the truck convoys park along the airport side of the road and stage to maybe 20 to 50 trucks, and then all start up and pull out around 2 AM or so. I've only seen it happen twice.


I have seen/heard this myself - its quite a lot of noise... You bring up a good point about the refracking of existing wells. I'd forgotten about this, but its common when production falls below a given threshold in older wells.

#11 George N

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 12:34 PM

BTW, the truck convoys park along the airport side of the road and stage to maybe 20 to 50 trucks, and then all start up and pull out around 2 AM or so. I've only seen it happen twice.


I have seen/heard this myself - its quite a lot of noise... You bring up a good point about the refracking of existing wells. I'd forgotten about this, but its common when production falls below a given threshold in older wells.


They are re-frack'ing some PA wells already. The LP issues won't go away after every possible well has been drilled.






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